Hummingbird Resources Yanfolila Gold Mine in Mali is now in full commercial production. The operation has transitioned from construction, through ramp-up, to full-scale operations on schedule.
The mine and plant were operating at nameplate capacity by the end of the March quarter.
During the quarter there were 18,785 ounces of gold poured at an average grade of 2.96 g/t, with 9912 ounces poured in March alone at an average grade of 3.39 g/t. Gold sold during the quarter totalled 11.941 ounces at an average price of US$1332 per ounce.
There were 238,628 tonnes of ore processed with the plant operating at an average of over 95% capacity through March.
Hummingbird has also reported its maiden guidance for the mine. It has forecast production of 105,000 to 115,000 ounces of gold during 2018, which includes the March quarter ramp-up phase.
CEO Dan Betts said: “Yanfolila had a strong start to the year with the ramp-up phase going to plan and with a significant increase in performance throughout the quarter.
“The process plant is operating to design specification and the grade and recoveries of gold we are seeing are solid and consistent with expectations.
“Progress has been strong, and I am pleased that we are able to declare commercial production from April 1, 2018 with the plant having operated at over 95% of nameplate for the month of March and continuing to operate at 100% throughout April.
“The focus remains on continually refining and improving Yanfolila into a consistent low-cost operation.
“Additionally, one of our immediate priorities this year is to aggressively explore and develop the near-mine resources to look to convert opportunities and resources into reserves and an extended mine life.
“We have committed to spend up to 15% of our free cash flow into this activity which is anticipated to be in the region of US$8 million. Colin Porter has recently joined the company as exploration manager to head up this activity.
“I am also delighted to announce the appointment to the Board of Attie Roux and Ernie Nutter, both of whom have an abundance of relevant experience.
“Attie has recently acted as chief operating officer for Endeavour Mining, overseeing the growth of the company from a single mine business to the multi-mine mid-tier West African producer it is today.
“Ernie has had a long and distinguished career as head of global mining research for RBC and latterly research director and portfolio manager for Capital International Asset managers.
“I am looking forward to working with them both and bringing their skills to bear on Hummingbird as we look towards the next chapter of Hummingbird’s evolution into a profitable, responsible gold miner with discipline and excellence at its core, whilst looking to grow on its entrepreneurial foundations.”